Ask anyone you meet at work or on the street, “What or who do we worship?” and the answers most certainly would be varied. Severn Run attendees would mostly say “God”. But if you continued to look beyond the church walls, and observe what or who people worship...
The weather forecast for the weekend was bleak. You know what they say about Maryland: If you don’t like the weather, wait half an hour and it’ll change. However, the forecast held steady and one thing was for sure—it was going to rain. At the start of the week people were...
Ask anyone you meet at work or on the street, “What or who do we worship?” and the answers most certainly would be varied. Severn Run attendees would mostly say “God”.
But if you continued to look beyond the church walls, and observe what or who people worship you’d see a much more broad scope of practices. Many of which we may not even realize how much we worship them. You’d see Hollywood, royalty, the rich and famous, money, possessions, good looks, food, children, and maybe even spouses. You would most certainly see self.
And if you ask the same Severn Runners is service worship? With a head nod they would likely say “Yes”! Then ask how is it that so? You might then get that “deer in the headlights” look.
Why would that be? Maybe because service seems on the outside to be about the receiver. He/She who is served is the receiver, right? They do of course benefit, yet we must ask is there more or is that it? Fortunately, there is more, much more.
William J. Stewart noted on the “Looking unto Jesus” website, “Every aspect of a Christian’s life is to be service to God, but not all service is worship. However, let us also be careful not to limit our worship to 3 or 4 hours of assembly time with the Lord’s people per week. We ought to habitually set time aside to worship the Lord privately. (Matthew 6:6)” (1)
If we are wanting to worship God, just how do we do that through service? To understand the tie between service and worship, we must first understand how worship is defined in the Bible.
In John 4:24 Jesus lays it out for us this way, “God is spirit. And his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” So then, is all service worship? Yes, no, or maybe as some would argue the following points:
- If the service is rendered to God it is worship.
- With the right heart, all service in all situations is worship.
- If the service isn’t sinful, it is worship.
- Service is worship if it follows the Bible’s definition of worship.
All these points have various compelling arguments but the final option seems to be supported in knowing we are then following the teaching of God’s word.
After Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the wilderness, Satan tempted Jesus with food. He suggested Jesus test the angels who were to protect him. He offered Jesus dominion over the kingdoms of the world. After all this, Jesus had enough and Matthew 4:10 tells us how Jesus finally responded to Satan, “Get out of here, Satan.” Jesus told him. “For the scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”
What does this mean for us today? Jesus is clearly saying that we are to serve God only. We therefore must be careful our service is not tied to things of this world such as status, self-sacrifice, admiration of others, personal recognition or anything else we might potentially worship. These things and more can seep into our service lives.
Although worship and service are closely related, they are not the same thing. As noted on the “Trusting God America” website, if they were the same there would be no reason for Jesus to address them separately.
There are at least three things to consider for service to be an act of worship:
- Proper Attitude with Correct Authority: Our mindset and perspective need to be God focused and in the Spirit for our service to be worshipful. (John 4:23-24)
- Intentional: Worship, thus service, is to support Biblical worship and have specific action that we intent to be worship.
- Truth Regulated: To worship in truth is the approved action for service. Our service must support truth which is found only in God’s word. (John 17:17)
In summary we serve to worship God and this service is an outcome of our love for God and others.
According to one blog on worship versus service, “The Divine ideal is that our worship of the Lord will inspire us to serve, and that our service for Him will flow naturally from worship.” (2) Another wrote, “We find that worship is outwardly manifested by service.” (3)
When out of worship of God, we can then chose to serve God by taking action:
- Go to Severnrunner.info
- Click on “Be the Difference”
- Complete the Level 1, 2, & 3 challenges
- Get your stickers
- Fill your card
Get started or take the next step today!
(1) http://lookinguntojesus.net/a-difference-between-service-and-worship/ by William J. Stewart
The weather forecast for the weekend was bleak. You know what they say about Maryland: If you don’t like the weather, wait half an hour and it’ll change. However, the forecast held steady and one thing was for sure—it was going to rain.
At the start of the week people were beginning to question whether or not Spring Into Serving was still going to happen. Some of our partner ministries even indicated that we should reschedule. Amber sent out Contingency Plans A, B, and C.
BUT, we are Severn Runners!
We knew God had great things in store for our partner ministries and we would not be hindered by a raincloud or two (or lots).
"Jesus led broken people on the road so that they would bump into other broken people in order to reveal His kingdom."
Spring Into Serving Projects:
Broken Wall – Fight Club and Going Deep cleared an existing but unusable baseball backstop of brush and vines at North Bend Elementary School in Catonsville, Maryland.
Grace Redeemer Church – Families with Young Children and Odenton Connects hosted a block party for 100-150 folks from the church and surrounding neighborhood in Meade Village. There was food, face painting, moon bounce, and TONS of fun!
Pascal Senior Center – Hearts and Minds and Young Married Professionals (YMP) cleaned and manicured the garden at the Center in Odenton. The director of Center actually emailed Bob Ogle, the project leader, and told him not to worry about bringing a group out, but the team went anyway. The director was pleasantly surprised when she saw all the work that had been done when she arrived at work on Monday morning.
Elevate Church – The Real World went to the pastor’s house in Annapolis and helped him fix the steps leading to his patio. They also picked up trash in the community and cleaned up a playground.
Transformation Center – Seeking Our So That went to Brooklyn Park to sort clothes for the Clothing Closet and did a neighborhood clean up.
The Well – Moms of Severn Run helped clean out/sort/organize their clothing closet (Hope Chest). A combination of clothes from the Severn Run Clothing Swap and Hope Chest allowed them to host a Free Community Clothing Market. Pizza and hot dogs were served to over 125 shoppers. Leftover clothing items were taken to Transformation Center. In addition, the husbands of the “Moms” helped the building manager to lay sand and pavers to create a back patio area.
Amber Adams, the Connect Leader for Severn Run says, “Jesus led broken people on the road so that they would bump into other broken people in order to reveal His kingdom. Our Connect Groups and IMPACT ministry connected with other local ministries to build relationships and serve with our brothers and sisters. We sent 143 Severn Runners to six different locations from Annapolis to Baltimore where they served with over 200 other believers and non-believers. From a Free Clothing Market to Block Parties to Gardening we saw a glimpse of what it means to be the Church.”
Follow this link to view a slideshow of photos taken at all the Spring Into Serving projects!